Shadows in the Moonlight (story)
This article does not
|"Shadows in the Moonlight"|
|Original title||"Iron Shadows in the Moon"|
|Publisher||Rural Publishing Corporation|
|Publication date||April 1934|
"Shadows in the Moonlight" is one of the original
The story was republished in the collections
The story begins when Olivia, having fled from her captivity in the city of Akif, is finally cornered near a marsh on the edge of the Vilayet Sea. Olivia's pursuer and former master is a sadistic rogue named Shah Amurath. Suddenly, before Amurath could lay his hands on Olivia, a figure rises from the reeds. The newcomer has witnessed all his friends betrayed and treachery cut him down to a man, before escaping into the marshes. There, the traveler has hidden out for so long he is nearly mad. The newcomer quickly kills Amurath, as he and Olivia climb aboard a raft while deciding to lie low for a while. Only then, does the stranger identify himself: Conan the Cimmerian.
The couple travel towards a dark and deserted island, where they spend the night sleeping in ancient ruins decorated with remarkably lifelike statues. Olivia has a bizarre dream where she witnesses a tribe of men being transformed into the statues, and is convinced they will come to life in the moonlight. Conan is less than convinced by Olivia's fears; he's more concerned by whatever it is lurking in the jungle, lobbing giant boulders at the two fugitives.
Eventually, a pirate ship arrives on the island. Leaving Olivia hidden in the foliage, Conan challenges their captain, an old rival. He slays the pirate captain, but is knocked unconscious by a stone from his sling. The pirates capture Conan and drag him to the ruins, where they discuss his fate, before passing out drunk. Meanwhile, Olivia narrowly escapes from a dark figure which pursues her close to the ruins.
Olivia sneaks past the drunken pirates and frees Conan. Soon, Conan slays the dark figure pursuing Olivia, a giant ape, which had also been hurling the boulders at them. As Conan recovers from his battle with the ape, he hears the beginning of a horrific slaughter back at the ruins.
The two quickly head back to the deserted pirate ship. As Conan prepares the ship to sail, a band of bruised and bewildered pirates appear while asking for his aid in leaving the "devil island". Conan challenges the pirates and they accept him as their new captain. At the end, Olivia begs Conan to allow her to stay with him and he, laughing, accepts, saying he will make her into a "Queen of the Blue Sea".